Saturday, July 23, 2005

Few things in life are free

I have been receiving quite a number of emails inviting me to join a certain website called TechGear4Free where you can get electronic gadgets for free simply by referring other people to the site. I’ve wanted an ipod for so long but am very wary of sites purporting to give away items for free without any cash outlay from the customer.

I tried reading their terms and ended up still confused about the whole thing. Why is it that a lot of sites use complicated jargon when explaining to the end user? Hmmm, so we can’t understand what they really are trying to con us into and simply click on the YES button?

So I emailed their tech support to have some answers. I wouldn’t want to impose my referral number if ever to all my email contacts, asking them to sign up too and end up looking like a fool because none of us would be getting any free items after all.

Here’s what I wrote:

Hi! I'd like to ask some things about your site. Some contacts of mine asked me to sign up so they’ll get the gadgets they’ve been wanting for a long time. I've noticed that in the sign up form, there is only space for the state/province and not country. So does this mean, offers are valid in the US only? But why is there a clause in the terms that your website ships worldwide?

Also, do we have to sign up for an offer before getting the free gift? Or is a sufficient number of referrals enough to help us earn credits for the getting the free gift?

Kindly enlighten me on this. Many thanks!

And here’s what they answered me with:

The spaces in the sign up form are just due to an outdated script that is running the site. It is perfectly secure and everything but we will be upgrading the whole site shortly to incorporate that kind of thing.

We do ship worldwide and if the address is from another country, we will simply confirm the address via email.

All users have to complete an offer in order to get credit. For your referrals to actually count as a referral, they must also complete an offer.

So there’s the catch! YOU and YOUR REFERRALS have to sign up for their offers BEFORE you get to have your free item! Being a non-US resident, I don’t have the capacity nor the propensity to spend in dollars. I’d rather have my most-dreamed of ipod the old-fashioned way --- by saving some money and buying when I finally have enough.

And that’s my final word on the matter.
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